Pre-Schism Orthodox Western Saints
22nd June (NS) — 9th June (OS)
9th June O.S.
BAITHIN (COMIN, COMINUS), St. Baithin is traditionally believed to have been a cousin of St. Columba (vide infra) and his successor as Abbot of Iona. He reposed on the anniversary of St. Columba’s repose circa 598.
COLUMBA (COLUM, COIM, COLUMBKILL, COLUMCILLE, COLUMBUS, COMBS), our venerable and God-bearing Father Columba of Iona, Enlightener of Scotland, was born near Garton in Co. Donegal, Ireland. He received monastic tonsure at Glasnevin and was ordained to the priesthood. He was instrumental in the founding of monasteries at Derry, Durrow and several others. Following the Battle of Cúl-drebene (561), for which he was held partly responsible, he, along with twelve disciples, sailed from Ireland to Scotland, landing on the Island of Í Chaluim Cille (Í of St. Columba) variously spelt Hi, Hy or I, now called Iona. There he founded what would become the great monastery of Iona, which was for the next two centuries, the nursery of many Bishops and saints. St. Columba spent the next thirty-four years evangelising the Scottish Highlands and founding monasteries and churches in Ireland and Scotland. St. Columba reposed on Iona in 597, and was initially buried there. His relics were later translated to Ireland where they are reputed to be buried in Downpatrick, Co. Down, with St. Patrick (17th March) and St. Brigid (1st February), or at Saul Church, neighbouring Downpatrick. St. Columba is counted as one of the three apostles of Ireland, along with SS. Patrick and Brigid. In addition, St. Columba is also the source of the first known reference to the Loch Ness Monster. According to legend, he came across a group of Picts who were burying a man killed by the monster (circa 565), and brought the man back to life. In a different version, he is said to have saved the man while the man was being attacked, driving away the monster with the sign of the cross.
Troparion of St. Columba of Iona — Tone V
By your God-inspired life
You embodied both the mission and the dispersion of the Church,
Most glorious Father Columba.
Using your repentance and voluntary exile,
Christ our God raised you up as a beacon of the True Faith,
An apostle to the heathen and an indicator of the Way of salvation.
Wherefore O holy one, cease not to intercede for us
That our souls may be saved.
CUMMIAN (CUMIAN, CUMMIN), an Irish bishop who resigned his (unknown) See to live as a simple monk at St. Columbanus’ abbey at Bobbio in Emilia-Romagna. St. Cummian was an avid supporter of the Roman versus Celtic method of calculating the date of Pascha. While at Bobbio his reputation as a man of great sanctity spread far and wide. St. Cummian reposed either 661 or 682.
MAXIMIAN of SYRACUSE, a native of Sicily and member of St. Gregory the Dialogist’s (3rd September) monastic community on the Coelian Hill in Rome. St. Maximian served both Pelagius and St. Gregory as Papal Apocrisiarius to Constantinople. Following his recall to Rome, St. Gregory appointed St. Maximian Bishop of Syracuse and Papal Legate in Sicily (591). St. Maximian reposed in the third year of his Episcopate. In his letters St. Gregory eulogises him as “a man of holy memory, a most faithful servant of God, a worthy Father of his Church, and after death a member of the Heavenly Choir.”
PRIMUS and FELICIAN, two elderly brothers martyred during the Diocletianic Persecution (303 – 313). Their unreliable acta and other legends claim they were scourged, or thrown to lions, or tortured and then beheaded, all of them do agree they met their end on the Via Nomentana in Rome.
VINCENT of AGEN, a deacon who was spread out and staked to the floor, after which he was scourged and then beheaded, some sources say as a sacrifice to a pagan god. His martyrdom took place at Agen in Gascony circa 292.
22nd June N.S.
AARON (AARON d’ALETH), a Briton who went to Brittany where he lived as a hermit on the present-day Ile de Cézembre, about 4 km (2.6 miles) off the coast of St. Malo. Over the years he was joined by other hermits, and disciples gathered around him. His disciples formed an abbey, with St. Aaron as their Abbot. St. Aaron reposed circa 552.
CONSORTIA, nothing reliable is known of the life of St. Consortia. It is believed she was the foundress of a monastery which was generously endowed by King Clotaire I (r. 511–558), in thanksgiving for St. Consortia’s miraculous healing of his daughter. She is said to have reposed circa 570, however, due to the unreliability of her Acts, it is possible St. Consortia flourished at an earlier date.
FLAVIUS CLEMENS, a brother of Emperor Vespasian (r. 69 – 79), who was a co-Imperial Consul with his nephew Domitian (95). Within a year of taking office, Domitian had St. Flavius Clemens arrested, tried, and beheaded for being a Christian.
JOHN I of NAPLES, a fifth century Bishop of Naples. St. John translated the relics of St. Gennaro (19th September) from nearby Puteoli to Naples.
Prior to the Schism the Patriarchate of Rome was Orthodox, and fully in communion with the Orthodox Church. As Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco +1966 said “The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable Liturgy is far older than any of her heresies”.
JOHN IV of NAPLES, a ninth century Bishop of Naples. St. John was a learned prelate, who approached his responsibilities to his flock with great energy and diligence. He was also renown as a man of great sanctity, and following his repose St. John was adopted as a patron-saint of Naples.
PAULINUS the MERCIFUL of NOLA, (on Eastern Calendars 23rd January), Pontius Meropius Amcius Paulinus was born in Bordeaux, the son of a Roman patrician. Owing to his lineage and excellent education he was appointed a Roman senator and rapidly ascended the ranks of government to consul, and finally governor of Campania. Returning to Gaul, St. Paulinus married and retired (389) with his wife to Hispania. The repose of their only child (392) St. Paulinus and his wife to renounce the world, selling their possessions, and settling in Nola in Campania where they lived a life of asceticism and charity. Having been ordained to the priesthood (395), in the early fifth century St. Paulinus was chosen by the people of Nola to be their bishop. Not only was he one of the leading prelates of his day, St. Paulinus was one of the most distinguished Christian Latin poets of his era. St. Paulinus reposed 431, and many of his writings survive to this day.
ROTRUDIS, there is no verifiable information on St. Rotrudis’ life beyond having reposed circa 869, and her relics enshrined at the Abbey of St. Bertin in Saint-Omer. A tradition that St. Rotrudis was a daughter or sister of Charlemagne has become popular over the years, but there is no evidence to suggest this is anything more than pious legend.